DOUBLE DECADE DEDICATION: Nuçi’s Space is celebrating its 20th anniversary with a special video presentation Saturday, Dec. 5 at 7 p.m. Produced by Athens Rising director James Preston, this first video is a preview of coming attractions, if you will. It is a condensed version of what is to be a larger series of videos celebrating the Musicians Resource Center. In a press release, Nuçi’s Space spokesperson Mariah Caldwell said of the videos, “They will showcase our Counseling Program, Youth Programs, Amplify Recording Studio, Community Partners, Building Expansion, Local Artists and our beloved volunteers. The presentations will include some history, program updates, special performances, interviews and highlights of the many ways we connect with the Athens music community.” The streaming presentation happens at the Nuçi’s Space YouTube channel—just search for “Nuçi’s Space”—but you’ll likely find direct links via either nuci.org or facebook.com/nucisspace.
PIERCE THE SKY: The brand new and fairly unexpected new album, Brown Dwarf, from Creston Spiers (Harvey Milk), will be out this Friday, Dec. 4, and it’s also pressed in limited-edition vinyl—only 150 copies—courtesy of Australian label WeEmptyRooms. It’s named Brown Dwarf. Spiers recorded the album and it was mastered by Kyle Spence. In advance of its release, you can preview two tracks: the extra groovy “Snake On Grass” and the anthemic “We Win.” I was this close to trying to extract an advance copy of this from the music machine system but decided to just wait for the whole release like everyone else. So here’s to both of us looking forward to Friday. Before then, sample this over at crestonspiers.bandcamp.com and then return there on release day.
GET MOVING: Athens dance organization DanceFX is hosting a socially distanced Cha Cha Footwork workshop at Bishop Park Sunday, Dec. 6 from 2–3 p.m. Although designed for participants that have some basic knowledge of Cha Cha steps, anyone is welcome to attend and learn. It takes place at the covered courts and masks are required. Cost is $10, and advance payments are accepted at dancefx.org/athens-drop-in-form. For more information, please see facebook.com/dancefx and dancefx.org.
MOOD OPERATOR: Composer Andrew Steck has released his full-length album Inner Loop / Outer Loop, which he’s been promising for a while. The 12-track album is a wonderful batch of pieces that flow so well together, listeners may be surprised when it concludes. Seemingly inspired—at least in part—by grand old Hollywood soundtracks and mid-century easy listening, the whole record is a wonderfully integrated celebration of mood and atmosphere, and Steck is quite adept at creating compositions that are welcomingly approachable. I’m very partial to his string sections (as displayed on tracks such as “Cucumber Water”). I’ll be among the first to remark that I’m less than ideally qualified to really drill down into these tracks, but I am eminently qualified to talk about how much I’ve enjoyed them. Find this at andrewsteck.bandcamp.com.
SURPRISE, SURPRISE, SURPRISE: Joe Rowe (The Glands) slipped out a quiet release under his Fourth Mansions moniker that pulls together two new ones with two that are now 25 years old. Simply titled Singles, the two new songs are “People Gotta Hustle” and “Talkin’ ‘Bout It Blues.” The frailty and lyrical urgency of the former is reflected solidly in the instrumental latter and, while this effect may have been unintentional, it makes for compelling back-to-back listening. The last two tracks are from a 4-track recording done in 1995. They’re audibly of their time in terms of production and structure. The first is actually two songs (“One Hundred Years / This Is My Life”), and the first half of that is pretty grunge-lite but with a really creative and catchy chorus. The second half of this pairing is very much a demo-style, wavy, sort of soft psych track that seems likely very quickly completed. Finally, though, “I Am The Rebound” plows straight into the world built by Polvo, Guided By Voices and other ‘90s heroes. Of course, at that time, they were contemporaries, so respect is due. Give it a spin via fourthmansions.bandcamp.com.
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